Spatio-Numerical Mapping in 3D

Exp Psychol. 2023 Jan;70(1):51-60. doi: 10.1027/1618-3169/a000575. Epub 2023 Mar 14.


The close link between number and space is illustrated by the Spatial Numerical Association of Response Codes (SNARC) effect. The current research focuses on the flexibility of the SNARC across three dimensions. Shaki and Fischer (2018) pointed out that spatial attributes of stimuli and response effectors can favor an ad hoc spatial representation. In this paper, we aimed to broaden this perspective using two Go/NoGo experiments with digits being presented at two spatial locations while a central response was required. In Experiment 1, stimuli appeared either to the left or right (horizontal) and below or above fixation (vertical). In Experiment 2, as the monitor was laying down flat on the desk, stimuli appeared either to the left or right (horizontal) and either close or far from the observer (midsagittal). The results of Experiment 1 show significant effects for the two dimensions (horizontal, vertical), while in Experiment 2, we observe only a barely significant effect for the sagittal axis. We interpret these findings as showing (1) the importance of motor response spatialization in eliciting the SNAs and (2) the dominance of the vertical axis over the horizontal when the spatial component of the motor response is removed.

Keywords: 3 dimensions; SNARC; SNAs; mental number line; spatial codes.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Space Perception* / physiology